Journalism Alumni Books
Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine
By Lou Ureneck '72
A reviewer for The Boston Globe writes that “in his newest book, ‘Cabin,’ Ureneck heads to the Maine woods on a Thoreauvian mission to simplify life and find his truest self by building a lakeside cabin. But unlike Concord’s legendary recluse, Ureneck forges a powerful bond with his brother and his family… In “Cabin,’’ Lou Ureneck has created something bracing, beautiful, and profoundly heart-felt.”
August Gale: A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm
By Barbara Walsh '81
Amazon.com describes "August Gale" as "about two heartrending odysseys: one into a deadly Newfoundland hurricane and the lives of schooner fishermen who relied on God and the wind to carry them home; the other, into a squall stirred by a man with many secrets: a grandfather who remained a mystery until long after his death."
Sammy in the Sky
By Barbara Walsh '81, illustrated by Jamie Wyeth
"Sammy" is about how, after Sammy the hound dog loses his life, his human family keeps his spirit alive by celebrating all the things he loved. Amazon.com describes it as “A deeply affecting tale of love, loss, and remembrance— told in clear-eyed prose by a top journalist and illustrated by a renowned American painter.”
By Lara Bricker '98
By Jackie MacMullan '82 with Earvin Magic Johnson and Larry Bird
Jackie MacMullan's When the Game Was Ours with Earvin Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, was a New York Times best seller. Jackie is an ESPN analyst and a former columnist for the Boston Globe. Jackie covered the NBA for Sports Illustrated from 1995-2000 and has served as a correspondent for a wide variety of cable television networks including CMNSI, NESN, and WHDH-TV. She is also the author of Bird Watching: On Playing and Coaching the Game I Love with Larry Bird and Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection with Geno Auriemma.
By Dana Jennings '80
"If you truly want to understand the whole United States of America in the twentieth century, you need to understand country music and the working people who lived their lives by it." So writes Jennings, an editor at The New York Times, in a book that’s part music history, part memoir of growing up poor in rural New Hampshire. The St. Petersburg Times called Sing Me Back Home "one of the best things written about American music in the past two decades." Jennings takes themes of specific songs from what he considers country’s golden age, 1950-1970, and connects them with the characters and events in his own family.
Publisher's site with links to reviews
By Todd Balf '83
This story of race and racing centers on Marshall “Major” Taylor, one of the nation’s first black superstars. An athlete, poet and celebrity, Taylor lived a century ago, when the scars of the Civil War were still fresh and when cycling briefly replaced horse racing as the nation’s favorite sport Much of the book centers on Taylor's his rivalry with a white man, Floyd McFarland, to be the fastest bicyclist in the world. Reviewers have called the book "literary sportswriting at its finest" and "perhaps the greatest American underdog story every told."
Todd's previous books:
The Darkest Jungle: The True Story of the Darien Expedition and America's Ill-Fated Race to Connect the Seas
By Michael D'Antonio '81
When the Soviet Union launched the first orbital satellite, Sputnik I, in 1957, Americans panicked, then went space-crazy. A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey tells the story of this country's early efforts to succeed in space: a time of exploding rockets, Florida boomtowns, competitive craziness and a wealth of UFO sightings. Booklist says, "Besides narrating countdowns, missile failures, and nuclear explosions, D'Antonio evokes the boomtown atmosphere of Cape Canaveral through two young reporters, Jay Barbree and Wickham Stivers, who cut their teeth on the space-age story. An entertaining writer, D'Antonio delivers the technological heroics on which spaceflight fans are keen."
Some of Michael's previous books:
By Meg Heckman '01 and Mike Pride
In We Went to War, men and women from New Hampshire remember how World War II transformed—and often threatened—their lives. More than six decades later, they tell their own stories in words that are often poignant, sometimes tragic, and always human. In 2007, Meg Heckman '01 and Mike Pride of the Concord Monitor set out to find members of the World War II generation still living in New Hampshire sixty-two years after the war ended. We Went to War compiles the stories the two writers collected and adds several chapters. Although some of the women and men interviewed for We Went to War recall the gung-ho spirit of the time, they do not candy-coat their experiences. The war was about death and mutilation. This generation’s “job,” as its members saw it, was to do their part and come safely home. And one other thing: to remember, no matter how much they wanted to forget.
By Charlie Bevis ’75
Author Charlie Bevis, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, delves into the history of the New England League during the pivotal early years of minor league baseball. Chapters explore baseball’s ties to the regional economy and the textile industry, as well as the groundbreaking first examples of playoffs, night baseball and integration. Charlie has written for numerous baseball publications and is the author of two previous books, Sunday Baseball (2003) and Mickey Cochrane (1998).
By Lou Ureneck ’72
When Lou Ureneck was 49 and his son Adam was 18, they took off together for a 110-mile Alaskan river trip. “My life was in a ditch,” writes Ureneck, who directs the journalism program at Boston University. “I was broke from lawyers, therapists and alimony payments and fearful that my son’s anger was hardening into life-long permanence. I wanted to pull him back into my life.” From the mountains to the Bering Sea, the two confronted bears, nasty weather, violent currents and their own differences. The memoir has been praised by a host of prominent writers, including Bill McKibben, who calls it “one of the finest meditations on fathers and sons that I've ever read.” The book won a 2007 National Outdoor Book Award.
By Brendan Dubois ’82
Publisher’s Weekly calls Twilight, the 11th mystery by DuBois, a “quietly devastating cautionary tale” about the future of the war on terror. Young Canadian journalist Samuel Simpson joins a team of UN war-crimes investigators working in upstate New York after a major terrorist attack against the United States. Danger surrounds them. Worse, Samuel begins to suspect there is a traitor on his team, someone who is working not only to conceal important evidence but to betray and kill them all.
By T.D. Thornton '90
The publisher calls this book "a gritty, passionate behind-the-scenes portrait of a year in the life of thoroughbred racing's working class, by a racetrack insider." The track is Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts, a.k.a. Sufferin' Downs, "where grizzled thoroughbreds come to end their careers, hopeful young jockeys aspire against daunting odds to begin them, and diehard fans cheer, curse and gamble on the entire fascinating spectacle." The insider is Tim Thornton, who has both covered the track as a reporter and worked there as media director. Publisher's Weekly says Tim "possesses a deep sympathy for and understanding of the dynamics and contradictions that sustain this threatened world." Tim says he aimed for a “caustically honest” chronicle showing how minimum-wage stablehands and hard-luck horses do the work that allows the upper echelon to bask in the spotlight.
Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection
By Geno Auriemma with Jackie MacMullan '82
Jackie, a Boston Globe sports columnist, ghostwrites the life story of the famously ferocious UConn women's basketball coach whose teams won five national championships and broke records with a 70-game winning streak.
From the New York Times review of Geno: "Most people would take pride in such accomplishments, but not Auriemma. He remains fearful, haunted. His only certainty is that it will all come crashing down around him. It's little wonder his players feel so protective toward him. Clearly, his outsider's insecurities -- as an immigrant, a poor kid, a man in a woman's game -- go a long way toward explaining his success. They also explain much of the charm of this book."
By Randall Peffer '73
From the Publishers Weekly review: "Peffer explores sexual ambiguity in this offbeat legal procedural/whodunit. Callow public defender Michael DeCastro undergoes a baptism of fire with his first murder case: the defendant, Tuki Aparecio, is a Provincetown drag queen from Thailand (via Vietnam) accused of killing her lover, Alby Costelano, before setting a fire to cover her traces. Despite himself -- and his imminent wedding to an increasingly annoyed fiancée -- DeCastro finds his feelings toward his client evolving into romantic ones, which lands him in some compromising positions. The narrative alternates between Michael's sexually confused point-of-view and Tuki's flashbacks to her dark past in Bangkok and to the events leading up to the crime."
By Priscilla Cummings '73
Beneath Chesapeake Bay, Spud, a feisty young blue crab, hates to nap. Waking his underwater friends, Spud launches a rollicking Christmas Eve party that is interrupted by an unexpected traveler in need of Spud’s help. This is the latest of a dozen children's picture books by Priscilla Cummings, who has also written five young adult novels.
The Prison Angel:
Jackie MacMullan '82 recently published When the Game Was Ours with Earvin Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, a New York Times best seller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009).
Other pages on this website that might be of interest to Alumni: